Cutting Process Options: Fiber Laser vs. Water Jet

The latest products in laser and water cutting.

Laser Cutting: Fast and Efficient

 Laser cutting is faster and more
energy-efficient than plasma cutting for thin or medium-thickness sheet metal,
most commonly steel or aluminum. In the past, laser cutting has not been
possible for thicker stock, but today’s higher-wattage machines (7kw plus) are
approaching the capabilities of plasma cutting.

laser technology effectively eliminates bend mirrors and the need for beam
adjustment and alignment, improving consistency. This
is important for production jobs including laser cutting, welding and fold

The SR-F
series from Mitsubishi has a 3m by 1.5m (9.8 feet by 4.9 feet) footprint with
many of the same features and options as Mitsubishi’s EX-F laser. An
entry-level machine, the SR-F laser is available in 2kw and 3kw.

two-dimensional fiber laser processing system comes standard with a fiber laser
resonator, a processing head and a safety cover. It also includes the
Mitsubishi 700 series control with 64-bit NC and a 15-inch touch screen.


Water Jet Cutting: Versatile and Powerful

jet cutting
is ideal for stone, ceramics, and thicker metals which are more
difficult to process by laser cutting or other methods.
Unlike other material removal processes, waterjet systems can
also cut extremely hard, reflective and nonconductive materials, making it an
efficient and productive fabrication method.

OMAX family of water jet machines. (Image courtesy of OMAX.)

OMAX family of water jet machines. (Image courtesy of OMAX.)

The OMAX 80X is a
waterjet machine designed for processing large, complex components or multiple
parts. One common issue with waterjet cutting machines is taper.

According to OMAX, the
cutting head has an automated taper compensation feature, reducing taper
cutting without slowing down cutting speed. With the water-resistant Rotary
Axis head for complex 3D parts production, the OMAX machine functions in as
many as 6 axes.

is planned for fabrication shops, metal service centers, job shops as well as
architectural, sign, stone and gasket shops. The articulated cutting head cuts
beveled edges, angled sides and countersinks. A rapid water level control feature
allows for submerged cutting, reducing these problems.

 For more information,
visit the websites for
MC Machinery and OMAX.